Friday, December 14, 2012

Grand Tour, Part 12: Home Is Where the Heart Is

We have returned from our year-long Grand Tour. Our last stop was Gilbraltar, where we were feted by the families of the garrison officers. We found the romantic Moorish architecture to be in direct contrast to the bastions built by Britain to fortify this rock jutting out of the sea. We were also fortunate enough to spend some time in the Garrison Library (an honor normally reserved only for the soldiers stationed here, but you know SOMEONE in our group would bat her eyes!). The library is an amazing place stocked with tomes in many languages and covering hundreds of years. We also visited the cemetery to pay our respects to the sailors buried there who died in the Battle of Trafalgar.

And now we are back in our own little homes, having bid each other a teary goodbye after living cheek-by-jowl for so many months. Ah, but the comfort of friends, family, and familiar surroundings cannot be overestimated. Yet somehow England looks smaller, perhaps less colorful, than we remembered it. Then again, it is dreary December, so perhaps our outlook will improve in the spring.

In the meantime, everyone we know wants to hear more about our travels, and we have no end of invitations for dinners and teas. Remembering all our adventures brings a smile to our faces every time. And we find we have opinions on matters we had not considered before, such as whether antiquities should be left in their native lands and how women and gentlemen should relate to each other.

We’ve also collected a number of keepsakes along the way. Here are a few of mine:

Lace from Venice

A set of etchings of the Roman ruins

A Moorish shawl

So what did you bring back from your travels? Is there somewhere else you’d like to travel next year? I do believe we can find a likely chaperone to accompany us. Or are you happy now that you have safely returned to England’s shore?


J.Grace said...

I would bring back some lovely shawls and various books that catch my attention.

I would love to visit Greece on my next trip but then again I cant imagine taking a year long vacation anywhere.

Regina Scott said...

I know--a year to visit and soak up the sights? Not in my life!